Sunderland Harriers are sending two strong teams to contest the British Masters’ Cross Country Relay Championships at Long Eaton, Derbyshire on Saturday.
The Over-35 Women’s team bids to beat their third place of last year, while the Over-35 Men’s team are looking for their first win since 2006.
The women will field the same team as last year in Jacqueline Etherington, Nikki Woodward and Vicky Haswell.
The three-stage relay saw Rotherham Harriers win easily (35.53) from Telford (36.33) with Sunderland finishing in 36.50.
Etherington got the Wearsiders off to a great start in finishing second with 11.46, then followed Haswell (12.49) and Woodward closed on (12.15).
All three athletes have been targeting this event as they are determined to at least match their result of last year. They have been in good form over the track season with a series of personal bests to their names. The speed gained should serve them well over the short cross country course.
The men’s relay is over five legs and they have just one Over-35 in their team in Kevin Jeffress, who is 39 years old. The rest are Over-40 and Over-45, but they are all among the best in their age groups in the North East. They are: Over-40s Ian Dixon and Steve McMahon. The Over-45s are Michael Thompson and Rob Walker.
Veterans’ captain Dean Phillips said: “It will be a good, solid team and I expect them to be contenders for medals. They are all looking forward to the race as they know they have a medal opportunity.”
Jeffress and Dixon are both North East Masters’ Cross Country champions in their age groups and are in good form with the team depending on them for fast legs.
It was at Farringdon on the club’s cross country course that the team last won the championship in 2006, beating North Belfast for the title by nearly three minutes....